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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The New Silk Road Is On Its Way



In 2016, the US, in cooperation with their Western and some Asian partners attempted to bypass both Russia and China in what was an unprecedented inter-regional “trade agreement” - the TTIP or the TTP as it was known in different regions of the globe. The secretive agreement never came to pass, which contained some very questionable clauses on Investor- State Dispute Settlement (where companies could sue countries, but not the other way around) as well as being a general “race to the bottom” as it pertained to basic capitalist principles of exporting jobs to geographies with cheap labour. President Trump had delivered on his pre-election promise, and halted the ratification process.

Simultaneously, the New Silk Road initiative was being developed between countries of the East and Middle Eastern states. The initiative seeks to unify the world trade routes, inclusive of the Americas and Africa, in order to compromise on more fair advantages for all. One key aspect of related initiatives, such as the Eurasian Economic Community, or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, is the ability to trade in the member states’ national currencies, bypassing the US dollar.

Vladimir Putin once said, on reflection of Wall Street currency manipulation, that “the US is about to snap the very branch it is perched on”, whereby countries will naturally seek alternative means of payments, bypassing US influence.

But not everyone is happy with the envisaged ease of transportation routes between Russia and China – the obvious one being the vastly different population numbers in both countries. Russia has a lot of land and resources, but not a lot of people. China represents the opposite, causing some to question the mass relocation of Chinese into Russia’s Far East which is beginning to take place. These issues are yet to be addressed upon fruition of the project.

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